David Sedaris named my baby! Now we’re pregnant again – What’ll it be???

The Man, The Myth, The Legend: David Sedaris

 

First off, this isn’t an April Fool’s Day joke – this is a true story.  My wife was pregnant with our first baby and we went to see David Sedaris. We didn’t go because she was pregnant and she didn’t get pregnant at the show as far as I know, we just happened to see his show while she was pregnant.  (Some people get confused easily, so I wanted to clear that up right away.) He was reading material from one of his books and just generally showing why he is one of the most hysterical men alive and we waited around for the book signing after the show. He always stays around after he’s done and chit chats with everyone and autographs books, cd’s, small turtles…basically whatever you bring with you for him to sign.

We’ve seen him multiple times, but even I am not narcissistic enough to believe that I’ll stand out among the many tons of people that he meets. We’ve actually trouped all over the Tri-State area and are thinking of forming a support group for other David Sedaris Groupies like us. My wife wasn’t always able to attend with me in the past and so I went with her mother. Don’t get nervous, this isn’t turning into another story about me watching dirty movies with my wife’s mom. She’s a blast and loves Sedaris as much as we always have a great time.

In fact, her mother and I (mother-in-law sounds so old and impersonal which is not her at all so I just call her “Boo”) went to see him in New Jersey once and while waiting on line to meet him after the show, an old lady came up and tried to cut the twenty-something girl in back of me. The old lady tried to casually merge into the line but the girl caught on immediately and called her out on it. She wouldn’t let her cut in front of her and that old lady got so annoyed at the young girl that she actually spit on her. She actually spit on her! I was shocked, but mostly just grossed out and really selfishly thankful that she didn’t spit on me. Had that lady spit on me, that would have been all she wrote because I would have knocked that old bitch out; but the girl was a really good sport about it. No offense to David Sedaris, but you would have thought we were waiting to meet Springsteen or The Rolling Stones by the way that old lady was acting. I haven’t seen spitting like that since the Long Island Game Farm Field Trip in Elementary School when a little boy in my class got a loogie right in the chops was he walked up little too close to the llama cage…

Anyway, the three of us (me, my wife, and Boo) went to see his show and afterwards we went to get our books signed. As we were chit chatting about my wife being pregnant, he asked if we knew what we were having and we said we weren’t finding out. He looked at my wife’s stomach and said “The middle name has to be Danger! It has to be!” and he wrote it in our book. Of course, I never thought she’d go for it, but two months later we welcomed little Danger onto the scene! My favorite part of it was when the priest asked “You want me to say Danger in the church during the Christening?”

I did my part and got us this far; Sedaris - Work your magic!!!

Fast Forward almost two years later: Tonight is his show, my wife is pregnant with our second child (We’re not finding out the sex of the baby again), and David – We need a name! I feel like I might sound a little bit crazier than I normally do, but let me try and convey the importance of this moment to you. This is a person that we revere, and I just fear that he might say a name like Nicaragua (If you’re a fan, then you know exactly how he pronounces it!) or Shortcake (Sedaris pronunciation: short-a-cock-a).

I will revisit this topic after the baby is born and do some explaining about the back-story if we end up with a baby named Boolie Von Coolie!!!!

I Hate Birds Part Three – Are Chickens Birds? If not, then I hate them too!

After we graduated from college, my wife and I went on an amazing bus tour through Europe to celebrate. There were two different tour options: A Superior Tour which went through Europe for almost two weeks and you stayed in amazing Four Star properties or the second option (the one that we chose) was almost 6 weeks long and you stayed in “economy” facilities.

We really tried not to mind since it enabled us to go away for much longer, but in some cities – my OCD was really put to the test. I will circle back and reminisce about some of the other acts of chaos that ensued at another time, but this is about another instance of fowl fouls attacking me yet again.

When we got to Rome, it was nighttime and pitch black. You couldn’t tell exactly where we were staying as the bus pulled up, but we were met with the unmistakable aroma of shit circling in the air upon arrival. As we were unloaded from the bus, we quickly found out that the place we were about to sleep at was in the middle of a combination campground/animal sanctuary. When I say that we quickly found out, it was because there were loose peacocks strutting around offering people directions and refreshments as we received our rooming assignments. I was freaked out big time and it was like being at The Bronx Zoo, but I was really trying to be a good sport and not make it miserable for my girlfriend.

This is the Welcome Ambasador?

 

As I was trying to get over the sight of the stray peacock and hoping that it wouldn’t charge at me like in one of those When Animals Attack videos, my wife told me to turn around quickly. As I turned, I came face to face with a wire fence and a GIGANTIC ostrich-like bird poking through the fence and making eyes at me literally inches from my face. It gave me a wink and then it whispered at me “the pigeons in London tipped me off that you were coming.” Of course, I freaked out and it started making these guttural, obscene noises at me: UGHHHHHH MUGHHHHHH UGHHHHH and decided that I would sleep on the bus and I was quickly told to grow up (by my girlfriend, not the emu!) I ran away like I had just stolen a television and my heart was racing.

As we were shown to our space, I froze in my tracks and started to have another panic attack. We were, literally, going to be sleeping in a wooden shed. A fucking wooden shed! It wasn’t even like it was a nicely appointed wooden shed either – it was an eight by eight bare room with a door, two single cots, and a window. I knew going into the tour that I would have to suck it up, but this was too much. I may be high-maintenance, but it was all the more shocking because the livestock actually had better appointed accommodations than we did!

That shed was hot as balls so I opened the shutters immediately upon entering and it didn’t help. I started complaining as soon as the first bead of sweat started trickling down my forehead, but my wife hung out the window to look around and said that we made out better than some of the others did. She was trying to see the bright side and noticed that our shed had trees surrounding it thinking that would offer some shade to make it cooler.

As I hung out the window (there were no screens on the windows) to look, I noticed that there were trees along the path to our shed and in those trees were chickens. Lots of chickens! Those crazy birds were hanging out as if they were in a downtown Barber Shop just chillin’ with their Homies. That was an immediate red alert for me, but it was getting late, and they refused to let me sleep on the bus so I really had no choice in the matter and solved it the only way I knew how – I got wasted and collapsed into bed.

I'm more scared of these guys than most street gangs

 

I actually came to find out later that chickens are able to lift themselves off the ground and can get over fences and up into trees, thus the peanut gallery glaring down at me from their branches. The next morning, we were scheduled to go on a walking tour at the crack of dawn, but I knew that unless I was drunk and passed out, there was no way that I was going to be able to sleep there. The ruckus from those animals moaning and doing God only knows what to each other or the stray people that wandered close to their gate was unnerving. I was huddled under my sheet like that little kid in The Sixth Sense that saw dead people. The only thing was that I didn’t have Bruce Willis to protect me. If you are ever outnumbered by chickens twenty to one, you want Bruno on your side in case it gets ugly. Yippee Ki-Yay Mother Clucker!!!   

The next morning rolled around and I was spent! We had gone to bed less than four hours earlier, we were two weeks into the tour, drank every night and most of the every day and I was just exhausted. I had been to Rome multiple times before this trip and although I LOVE Rome to pieces, I had to skip out of the walking-tour for fear that my body would just collapse if I attempted it. My girlfriend left with group to go on the tour and I slipped back into my coma.

If I can, let me try to illustrate the next series of events that unfolded: I was still partially drunk, slipping in and out of consciousness while I was recovering, and just all around minding my business. There I was trying to get over the fact that they mail coffee beans in more elaborate shipping crates than the one that I was currently sleeping in, when I remember dozing off for the last time. When I’m asleep, I don’t move at all – I’m like a dead body after rigamortis has set in. I look like a corpse with my arms crossed across my chest and I absolutely cannot sleep without my blue tempur blinders.

These blinders are so soft it's like sticking your head up a sheep's ass!!! Now that's Soft!

 

I cannot pinpoint the exact cause, but something woke me up abruptly. My face and forehead really hurt and my blinders were off my head completely and strewn across the shed on the floor, which had never happened to me before. Assuming I had been tossing and turning in my drunken slumber, I chalked it up to a hangover and got out of bed. As I grabbed my robe and headed over to the bathroom area, people were staring at me as I walked by and for a split-second I thought I might be accidentally streaking another one of the tour rest stops.

In Nice, I was heading from the showers back towards our room (coincidentally we were once again staying in a shed, but that one was a much nicer shed– it was French after all) and people were whistling, calling to me in foreign tongues and chatting up a storm. I felt like a celebrity for a second and didn’t realize until one of the tour buses actually honked at me and all the passengers were pointing down what they were seeing. I was walking around and my bathrobe was open and trailing behind me like a cape leaving the whole front of my body exposed and showing off my bits and bobs to everyone. The tie for the bathrobe was still in place knotted around my waist, but because it was made of thin red silk, it blew open as I was walking and I didn’t realize it. Needless to say I was pretty popular that night at the bar.

Although I wasn’t streaking this time, a lot of people were staring at me again and I didn’t realize why until I got into the bathroom. I looked into the mirror and almost shit my pants because my whole face was covered in red marks. My forehead, cheeks, nose and chin all had crazy scratches and I thought for sure that I was still drunk or hallucinating so I walked back to the shed to wait for my girlfriend to come back from the tour. I have OCD and my finger and toe nails never even reach the tip of my skin, so there was no way it was me scratching myself. My wife has even shorter finger nails than I do, and then I checked her toe nails just to make sure it wasn’t her. Due to the sheer amount of scratches on my face, it was baffling and then it hit like a tornado as I came back up the path to the shed and saw a chicken on the end of the branch about a foot away from the shutter window to my shed: It was a fucking chicken that scratched my face! No wonder my blinders were off my head and on the floor – I never move when I sleep and they have never come off my head before. And I am such a heavy sleeper that I didn’t even feel it as the chicken was most-likely tea bagging me in my sleep!

As my wife returned she looked at me with shock and a little twinge of disgust mixed in as if to say “what did you do now?” I am clumsy and uncoordinated and consistently hurt myself but even she couldn’t have blamed me for a chicken would have gone all Siegfried and Roy on my face while I was sleeping. Who saw that coming? The lesson I learned that day: Don’t skip the walking tour or a chicken will kick the shed out of you!

More on our European adventures at another time when I revisit our tour and explain about how my wife tried to drug our tour guide while we were in Amsterdam…

It’s A Dog’s Life

A friend of mine just randomly told me a crazy story about when they masturbated their male cat. Please take that in for a moment before we go on. I know exactly what you’re thinking – how does that come up during a casual conversation? I don’t know either. Now, I’m not usually prone to speechlessness, but I gotta say that one got me. They said it only happened one time, to which I say that’s all it takes: One time and the cat’s hooked. I promised I would not put that on this website, so I will not reveal their name or gender, but it made me think of treating animals bad and of course my thoughts drifted back to college…

I’m not going to get graphic and tell you about the female roommate that I had on Clayton Street who had sex with her boyfriend’s American Terrier on his coffee table in front of his friends – I want to talk about that dog. (By the way, she’s now a school teacher and one day when my son is older, knowing my luck, I’m sure that I will walk into a Back-to-School night and come face to face with her) That dog was as big as a small show pony: he was over a hundred pounds, had huge teeth and paws, and his head was the size of a barbecue grill. I use the barbecue grill as a point of reference because he was always tied to that grill out on their porch. One day, he took off after someone and proceeded to drag that barbecue down those porch steps and then right up Clayton Street. The sparks were flying as that barbecue bounced around like a tennis ball and they had to go chasing after him. They didn’t think he’d run away, they were just chasing after him because they were afraid of the propane tank still attached to that barbecue he was dribbling up the street like a basketball. We thought for sure it would explode and take out the whole block, but they were pretty fast and caught up to him about twelve houses down. Most amazing of all though, is that the barbecue still worked after that – those things are really solid.

This is also the same dog that another day, dove through the screen of one of their front windows and made a run for it. He came straight across the street and up the stairs right into our apartment. He broke through our front door causing my two roommates to panic and jump onto the furniture trying to get away from him before they got bitten. One of them did get bit in the ass, but he didn’t break the skin. I, of course, happened to be taking a shit during all of this and when I heard the commotion and screaming, I thought the house was on fire. I didn’t even get a chance to react, because right then he broke through the bathroom door and I was literally, face to face with a monster and the bathroom door shut behind him. Picture it if you will, because I was sitting there thinking “Oh My God, I’m going to get mauled on the toilet by this killer.” I was trapped inside that small bathroom with him and I couldn’t even try to get up or move in any way. I thought that I could take it like a man if he bit me anywhere above the waist, but I was terrified that he would go for my sack if I stood up. If he got me there, I would have had to call it a day because my life would have been over! I could have lived with scars on my face or body, but you mess with the Goods and you’re screwed in a way that won’t leave a smile on anyone’s face!

He then sat down and proceeded to lick his lips while giving me the stare down (like a certain grandmother I know) mere inches from my face. I was sweating profusely and on the verge of tears when his owner and three or four other people on the street heard the commotion and screaming so they came running to find the dog. They peeked in the front door and said “you guys seen my dog?” and then started hysterical laughing when my roommates directed them to me and they opened the bathroom door.  The crowd all thought it was hysterical seeing me pinned on the toilet like that by this beast and they just kept laughing. All I can say is thank God they didn’t have camera phones like everyone does now or I would be a YouTube sensation with the way I was screaming bloody murder. They finally got that monster out of our place and I learned a valuable lesson about shitting in college: Go as fast as possible because you never know what’s outside the door!

They finally had to put that dog to sleep after he bit a few more people, but his memory lived on every time they used that barbecue. Even though he was like a wild boar, no one was happy that they had to put the dog down because it was a sad situation. Well, I shouldn’t say that because our mailman was very happy about the dog being gone. In the mailmen’s defense, he did get chased and bit quite a few times so you could understand him being happy. We never thought he minded because it was pretty funny to watch the dog attack him and then after it he always used to stick his head through the front window and smoke a joint with us. I would say he had a radar to know when we were smoking, but it was a safe  bet that if it was light outside, we were smoking.

So, my friend says they will leave the cat alone, and was just curious that one time. I say that a cat’s private parts are a gateway drug and that the next stop is a trip to the Nature Center and a meeting with an Alpaca with a golden smile…

Fat Camp

It’s funny, because when I used to talk about my aunt owning a fat camp (a weight loss summer camp for kids) and having worked there, people never believed it. It sounded crazy and I was constantly accused of making it up until I actually brought people there. I was in good shape and used to go to the gym every day, so I guess it was a stretch.  But now, whenever I talk about the camp, people believe every word because they look at me (I have probably doubled in size since those days) and nod with that look that says “Of course you were at a fat camp and by the way, you really need to go back. There are many many many Fat Camp stories, most are entirely inappropriate for anyone’s gentle ears – but let’s start with this one:

My friend Weezie (Now talk about a Hooka with a capital “H” and I say that as a very high compliment) used to come to the camp with me all the time (and she actually worked there with me one summer – to almost criminal results) because I lived there and for her it was the half-way point while driving home from college. Our routine was simple, stop and drop our bags, get the crew together, go to Cronin’s, tear it up and stay there until we closed the place and were about to pass out, beg someone to take us to the only place open late night out there in the middle of nowhere, the famous Quickway Diner, engorged ourselves, and then she’d drive home the next day.

My brother Angelo thought it would be a great idea to have a family reunion one weekend and get the whole family together at the Fat Camp but I could smell something brewing from the onset. He was so worried about who would fight with each other that it was only a matter of time before trouble dropped by. With my family coming en masse, I needed reinforcements and invited Weezie and a couple of her sorority sisters to come and visit me. Of course, I “forgot” to tell them there was a reunion going on until they got there but they were real troopers.

My brother Anthony arrived late and the gates were closed and locked. The gates were closed and locked because when I say he arrived late, I mean hours and hours and hours late. Now upon coming up to a locked gate, a normal person would have just left his pickup truck (which was oddly reminiscent of the one Lamont used to drive on Sanford and Son) outside the gate until morning since the camp is located on a side street right in the middle of absolutely nowhere. I mean, there was no worry of vandalism – unless a local deer wanted his stereo or Metallica cassettes – but no, he had to get in that gate. The gate in question is a ten-foot high wooden stockade fence around the whole camp (over 200 acres) with the only openings in it being one small part by the main entrance he was trying to enter through.

So instead of driving up the road a little bit to go into the entrance by the house we lived in where there is no gate, Anthony did the logical thing and proceeded to try and drive around the main gate through the little opening to get in. His truck was about ten feet wide and the path he was trying to drive on to get around the fence was about three feet wide, so of course his truck ended up going front first down the incline and into the ravine on the side of the gate. Not a steep ravine, but there is a small stream flowing gently there.

Now, Anthony was not one to believe that this could, in any way, be his fault, so he proceeded to start screaming and cursing and went to find the person he held responsible for this – whoever locked the gate. Needless to say that when the female police officer showed up and told Anthony that he had five minutes to move the truck after he called her sir (once again, not his fault) my Uncle Raymond immediately took charge and instructed all of the overweight female cousins with a “little back” to them to get into the bed of the pickup truck to weigh it down and then they could put it into reverse…needless to say, he’s not one to take no for an answer so he pulled out the big guns (and by big guns I mean my cousins) and those girls got the truck out of the ravine. Who needs AAA or a tow truck? Also, just a word of advice; if you ever have a big stash of weed in the glove compartment of your truck that you just drove into a ravine and a female police officer shows up – Don’t call her sir!

When my sister Marlene used to work at the fat camp, she used to date this guy Dan that lived around the corner from the camp. He and I were good friends and when he heard that Marlene was coming to the reunion he, of course,  thought she might be coming to see him. I explained that she was dating a new guy(who was a muscle head with no neck and was about as smart as a can of turpentine, but I digress) and bringing him to the reunion, but he came over anyway in case she wanted to see him.

So, to give you a visual about the layout of the camp, it’s set on over 200 acres with a huge lake in the center of the property, and there are golf carts to get you everywhere because of how spread out everything is. The swimming pool is up by the house we lived in, the lake is in the center of the camp, and the main buildings and bunks are down by the main entrance.

So, as the day went on, I was drinking at the pool with Dan, Weezie and her two sorority sisters, and Anthony – my pickup driving brother. The more Dan drank, the more convinced he was that my sister was actually attending the reunion to see him. I say that he was convinced because Anthony was convincing him. In his infinite widsom, my brother thought the best thing to do in this situation was to give Dan a joint to settle him down and keep him drinking. This probably would have worked if my brother didn’t start peppering him with his take on the “situation” and keep offering up his advice. Keep in mind that  this is the same man who drove his truck into a ravine less than 24 hours earlier and now he is giving love advice to Dan about how messed up it was that my sister was here on his “turf” with a new guy and that it wasn’t right. He thought Dan should go down to the bunks where everybody was and speak with my sister to settle this. I thought that he should go home before he got himself killed by No-neck, and with that we (me, Weezie, and her sorority sisters) went down to the bunks because I thought I should let Marlene know that Dan was there and already drunk.

During the camp season, the golf carts didn’t go any faster than a senior citizen at Ponderosa, but the maintenance guy rigged them up so we could really move in them during the off-season so we drove down by where everyone else was in a flash.

So picture this: I’m standing in a circle next to the golf cart that we just drove down there with my sister, Weezie and the two girls, and my cousin Beverly talking about Dan and around us there are about forty-five people milling about. Some were playing cards, some were sitting at picnic tables talking, some were playing lawn darts, but all in all everyone was just hanging out. All of a sudden up by the infirmary hill we see my brother and Dan (who at this point was absolutely wasted) and Dan is staggering towards us blowing kisses to No-neck, my sister’s new boyfriend.

In a literal flash: Dan is blowing kisses at No-neck, No-neck goes running and screaming up the infirmary hill after Dan, Dan goes running toward the back fence leading to the cemetary next door to the camp, Everyone abandons what they’re doing to watch this new drama unfold, my brother Anthony lights another joint as he’s watching the show from the infirmary hill, and then all of a sudden my sister jumps into my golf cart and takes off up the hill to stop No-Neck from killing Dan.

I tried to get into the golf cart too, but I was in flip-flops and she was just too damn fast. I fell because I was trying to enter the golf cart as she was speeding away and I lost my footing. I thought for sure that since I was her brother and we were close and SHE JUST SAW ME FALL, that perhaps she would stop the golf cart to let me get on – but I was wrong. As I lost my balance and fell, I grabbed onto the sideboard of the golf cart to avoid hitting my face and getting my head ran over by the tire and then she took off like a tornado. She just didn’t stop. In a split-second, I went from trying to be a good person and avoid a situation, to literally being dragged up a steep hill by an out of control golf cart piloted by a madwoman.

She flew through dirt, grass, mud and didn’t miss one bump. She was leaving a cloud of dust and I was a mess. I was screaming for bloody murder and begging for some help and I was afraid to let go because I knew that she would most certainly run my body over. I mean she had no problem dragging me up a hill so running me over wouldn’t stop her either. I finally lost my grip and was thrown after about two hundred feet up the hill because she slowed down for a split second when my dislodged flip-flop was thrown from my mangled foot and flew over her head and distracted her. That crazy bitch didn’t flutter or even turn around to see if I was still in one piece as she took off up the hill leaving me a mangled heap in the dirt.

As I tried to stand up and regain my composure (for I knew the dignity was lost fifty feet ago) I turned to face my family and, of course, my three friends from college. As I stumbled back over to them, my cousin Beverly goes “Oh God, she’s so upset, I just can’t believe it – I hope she’s O.K.” to which I responded – “Fuck her – that crazy bitch just dragged me up a fucking hill and almost killed me – literally…almost killed me! What about me?” It was like when Alexis shot her rifle to spook Krystle’s horse and it took off dragging her across the field and caused her to lose her baby in Season Two of Dynasty. (Of course, a Dynasty reference to help those of you who weren’t raised right – Yes I’m talking to you Bemish!)

For a quick second, I thought Weezie was crying but then I realized it was laughter (they were all laughing hysterically) and she helped me find my other flip-flop and when she regained her composure she said “I want you to know that every time you tell me one of your crazy stories I always thought – come on, who do these things happen to? After seeing that just now, I can picture every single one of them – that was unbelievable. I will never doubt you again and I am going to tell this story to everyone we know.”

As for Dan, because he lived around the corner and knew the area, he made it over the cemetery fence and safely home, eluding No-neck. As for my sister, her official “story” (which to this day I still don’t believe a word of) about the golf cart is that she didn’t hear me screaming bloody murder or see me until the flip-flop flew into her frame of view. As for me, it took three showers to feel clean again and then we went straight to Cronin’s where I drank until I couldn’t taste that dirt in my mouth anymore.

Moral of the story and the lesson I learned – Family reunions are not for me! Interestingly enough, that happened in 1999 and we haven’t actually had another reunion since! Or if they are having them- they’re just not inviting us which I truly cannot blame them for…